At a time which keeps proving that change is the only constant, being able to adapt to change has become a survival tool. Moreover, being able to drive change has become the skill set needed to stay ahead in the game. In order for organizations to compete and sustain their business, they must be able to innovate and provide new solutions to their customers. They must be able to provide alternatives and challenge the status quo and they must do that with speed and efficiency.
How organizations may do that depends on their philosophy, strategy and vision as well as on their leadership talents. One very important element however is also the element of curiosity. Constant questioning if properly utilized can become the base for innovation, creativity and problem solving exercises.
By facilitating a culture of curiosity, you open the door for constant learning. Learning from past failures and successes as well as learning from best industry practices can be achieved through a curious mind.
By encouraging employees to adopt a “trial and error” mentality you open the door for more potential and new ideas to be explored. Of course, good risk management may inhibit the amount of errors that can be tolerated within an organization and its sub-groups, but ultimately good risk management should also allow for a healthy level of errors that may lead to new untapped learning.
Knowing when to be curious and about what is the first step for achieving that healthy level of acceptable errors. However, it is also important to have the knowledge that you can be curious and that you have the freedom to ask and question everything. This freedom is seldom found in organizations either because it is not given or because employees are not aware that they have it.
Therefore there is a big need for organizations to trickle down the concept of curiosity all the way from the top of the organization to the bottom and vice versa. The invitation to be curious at work should be extended to everyone. This invitation should also be constantly reiterated in key company messages so that it remains a fundamental part of how employees carry on their work.
By adopting such mentality organizations may be able to shake themselves up just enough to go that one step further. Curiosity that once killed a cat may also be what saves an organization. It all depends on how it is used.